Foundation Guides & Documents
European QP Association
The EU Directives and the EU Guide to GMP define some detailed requirements to be met by the Qualified Person (QP). These requirements have been extracted from the relevant documents and are summarized in a Good Practice Guide developed by the European QP Association. A number of responsibilities as well as requirements for continuous training for QPs are not defined in detail in the EU Directive and Guides. This Good Practice Guide – considered a "living document" – gives recommendations to QPs. The Guide is available for download if you register for the Association.
Pharmaceutical Microbiology Group
The group was founded as Rapid Microbiological Methods (RMM) Working Group on 7 June 2006. It reviewed the current situation of RMM in Europe. In the following years it supported group members with current information about the development, implementation and validation of RMM. To move forward to a harmonised thinking, the group further provided literature lists, best practice papers and guideline lists on its website. Today the scope of the activity is broader. Therefore the group was renamed to Pharmaceutical Microbiology Group. Its paper/guidance document is available for download if you register for the Group.
ECA Guidelines for the Evaluation and Investigation of Microbiological Deviations
Chapter 1 - Deviation Handling of Microbiological Environmental Monitoring Excursions in Non-Sterile Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Chapter 2 - Lab Investigations – Endotoxin Out of Specification (OOS)/ Out of Trend (OOT)/ Atypical Results Investigations
Chapter 3 - Guidance for Sterility Test Failures
Analytical Quality Control Group
The ECA Working Group on Analytical Quality Control was founded in 2010 in order to generate a harmonised SOP on managing analytical deviations within the laboratory including OOS, OOE and OOT results. Version 2 of the ECA OOS SOP has already been available for all ECA members since 2013. Given the complexity of the topic, it was decided that the handling of OOT and OOE results need to be addressed in a separate guideline SOP, since there is both a lack of knowledge in the industry and a lack of guidance for trend analysis from the regulators in spite of increased regulatory interest in this area. The documents are available for download if you register for the Group.
Qualification and Validation (Q&V) activities can be very time consuming, expensive and causing delay of new products to market, facility expansions etc. The purpose of this guide is thus to streamline Q&V by enabling a better cooperation and mutual understanding between customers and suppliers on projects related to pharmaceutical manufacturing systems, including equipment, facilities and utilities.
The ECA was one of the first organisations which published a Good Practice Guide regarding the new FDA Process Validation Guidance. With the revision of the Annex 15 also this Good Practice Guide has to be updated. As 1st revision the guide contains on one hand the main elements of the new validation approaches ("what to do"). On the other hand, it also serves as a supporting guide for the implementation ("how to do").
It is of key importance that medicinal products are not only manufactured in a high quality in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices, but that the quality and integrity of these products are maintained throughout the entire supply chain up to the patient. This is where Good Distribution Practice (GDP) comes into play. The GDP Interpretation Guide was published jointly by the ECA Foundation GDP Association and the Pharmaceutical Quality Group (PQG). It’s intention is to help colleagues in industry with the implementation of the EU GDP Guideline. The Guide is available for download if you register for the Association.
ECA/PQG Guidance on the Interpretation and Implementation of European Good Distribution Practice &
ECA/PQG Guidance on the Interpretation and Implementation of European Good Distribuition Practice for Active Substances
The Code of Practice has been developed to support Responsible Persons according to EU GDP Guide 2013/C343/01. It provides information about the responsibilities and duties of RPs as well as recommendations for education and ongoing training. Finally an example of a job description should help RPs to define their role in the supply chain of medicinal products. This Guide is also available for download if you register for the Association.
Visual Inspection Group
This group’s best-practice-paper aims at highlighting best practices for carrying out 100 % visual inspection of medicinal products for parenteral use in the pharmaceutical industry. It should be seen as addition and supplement to the monographs of the different Pharmacopoeias. Visual inspections of medicinal products for parenteral use should detect any readily identifiable visible container defects and ensure constant quality of the product in terms of absence of particular matter and/or turbidity, and correct or uniform appearance of a lyo cake. The Guide is available for download if you register for the Group.
ECA Good Practice Guide “Visual Inspection of Medicinal Products for Parenteral Use - Version 3.2"
Container Closure Integrity Testing of Medicinal Products for Parenteral Use - Position Paper - Version 2.0
DI & IT Compliance Group
The best-practice-paper was originally developed by the ECA Data Integrity & IT Compliance Group’s Advisory Board. Much rather than a strict requirement document, this paper is intended to be a reference for controversial issues. The documents are available for download if you register for the Group.
Data Integrity Task Force
Data Integrity has become one of the most frequently observed GMP deviations in FDA and EU Inspections. This is why the topic is currently in the centre of attention of both regulators and industry. The ECA Guidance Document covers - among others - the roles and responsibilities of Corporate and Senior Management in Data Governance as well as the necessary Policies, Procedures and Processes. It further provides information on establishing criteria for Data Integrity and security of records based on ALCOA+Principles and on Auditing for Data Integrity and security of records. You need to be an ECA Member to download the documents.
Cannabis Working Group
Searching for answers to GMP and other regulatory questions is a time-consuming activity. The ECA Cannabis Working Group’s document – available exclusively at the respective events – is therefore intended to provide a source of information, summarizing GMP and other regulatory information and documents currently available on a global level. In addition, it provides useful comments and an Annex with further information. It is the intention of ECA ́s Cannabis Working Group to update this comprehensive collection regularly and to add new information on regulations and guidelines once they are available.
ECA Cannabis Roadmap - GMP Requirements and Regulatory Information on Medicinal Cannabis (and CBD Products) - Version 4.0
Annex 1 Task Force
In 2017, the first draft revision of Annex 1 of the EU GMP Guideline was published, resulting in more than 6.000 comments in the public consultation. After a detailed review, a second draft was published in February 2020. To avoid that comments already submitted and rejected in the first commenting phase would be submitted again, the European Commission this time resorted to a so-called "stakeholder consultation". This means that only selected organizations and interest groups were invited to submit comments - and only to pre-determined sections of the new draft and a small scope of important further comments. The ECA and the European QP Association (EQPA) also were invited to comment in this second phase. Below please find more information on the first comments from the specifically established Annex 1 Task Force as well as on the comments in the second targeted consultation.